Pay online with caution to avoid UPI fraud

Unified Payment Interface or UPI is one of the most preferred modes of payment for cashless translation and online payments. The payment method works across different financial bodies with numerous stakeholders. The ease of payment and the effectiveness are what make UPI a popular choice. With popularity, also rises the chance of fraud and scams. UPI ecosystem is no different. There are multiple scams involving UPI users that have surfaced in the past few years. In such cases, the same ease of payment becomes a curse more than a boon. However, there are certain checks and balances in place to reduce the chances of fraud.

The user also needs to keep in mind certain factors when using UPI to either pay or receive money.

Five ways in which you can avoid being defrauded on UPI

1. Beware of unknown identities, numbers

If you come across an unfamiliar number or even an identity you’re suspicious of, it is always better steer away from any interaction. You should especially be wary of phone numbers shared on open web sources. For instance, phone numbers of especially of food or beverage outlets. It is always best practice to double-check the identity of the person before going ahead with the transaction. Th

2. Never insert PIN to receive money

One of the most frequent complaints of fraud can be traced back to this one factor. The bank will never ask for your PIN to receive money. Fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency while promising to send money. They eventually ask the receiver to enter their PIN to accept the money. This is never the case and in all cases, the user loses their money if they fall into this trap.

3. Random Payment Requests

Most UPI applications have a SPAM filter in place that tracks payments requests from certain UPI IDs. You will be warned if you come across any such identity. The warning should be a big red flag for you. Go ahead with the transaction only if you are 100 percent sure that the person on the other end is not a fraudster. You will get an option to either ‘Pay’ or ‘Decline’. In case of the slightest of doubt, you should ‘Decline’. You will never receive funds if you click on the ‘Pay’ option, no matter the circumstance.

4. Fake UPI Applications

In the era of ATM card machines, there were a lot of instances of card skimming. The practice of recording your card details via a fake machine planted over the original one. In a similar way, fake UPI apps try to grab your details under the pretext of either making a payment or receiving it via UPI.

Such apps are usually designed to look similar to the original bank app and will be easily available for download. If you accidentally download and install the fake app, it will share your sensitive data with fraudsters that will allow them to steal money from your account. A Citi bank advisory claimed that users should beware of counterfeit apps such as Modi Bhim, BHIM Payment-UPI Guide, Bhim Modi App, BHIM Banking Guide, etc.

5. Some basic things you should remember

-Never reveal your PIN to strangers.
-Keep anti-virus and biometric recognition software installed.
-Never open emails or links from unknown sources.
-Keep your details updated with your bank.
-Only use secure WiFi connections that you trust and not open ones.
-Keep track of your financial transactions and bank account statements, and an eye out for suspicious behaviour on your account.
-Alert your bank immediately if you find something unusual.

Faqs

Some of the potential risks in UPI include getting exposed to unauthorised payment links or fraudulent UPI handles and screen monitoring by fraudsters. “Fraudsters sometimes also pretend to be bank representatives to obtain users’ UPI PINs, stating they need it for verification purposes.22-Nov-2021

– Don’t engage with fraudsters.
– Remember the golden rule of receiving money.
– Be mindful of payment requests and SPAM warnings.
– Beware of counterfeit apps.
– Follow safe practices.

One, never share your PINs or OTPs with anyone. Two, remember that you don’t need to authorize a transaction if money is being transferred to your account—whether it is through UPI, NEFT, IMPS, e-wallets or any other payment system.30-Jun-2019

RBI Guidelines for UPI Frauds in Banks Banks shall send the Fraud Monitoring Returns (FMR) through the XBRL system. Banks should specifically nominate an official of the rank of General Manager who will be responsible for submitting all the returns referred to in this circular.6 days ago

Users can scan a QR code to make a payment, send money to an UPI ID or a phone number, or send a ‘collect money’ request. But scamsters have weaponised the very things that make UPI so appealing, selling false stories to lure users into inadvertently sending money.04-Jan-2022

Conclusion

Unified Payment Interface or UPI is one of the most preferred modes of payment for cashless translation and online payments. The payment method works across different financial bodies with numerous stakeholders. The ease of payment and the effectiveness are what make UPI a popular choice. With popularity, also rises the chance of fraud